How To Get Up On A Wakesurf Board? First Try!

Aug 31, 2021 | How To Guides

how to get up wake surfing

Hopping on the wake surfing hype train? Want to learn how to get up wake surfing first try every time? It’s actually pretty easy, but there are some foundational elements you have to remember. This guide will get you fully prepared before going out on the water.

Follow these tips and you’ll have your friends impressed, calling you a natural by the end of the day.

Hint: It’s all about positioning and letting the boat do the work for you. Remember that!

Total Time: 30 minutes

  1. Decide If You’re Goofy or Regular Stanced

    goofy vs regular on wakesurf board

    The first thing you need to know before wake surfing is if you are a goofy or regular stance rider because your answer will determine which way you will face the wake and the driver of the boat will be able to set the wake to the side that works best for your stance. Below is a super simple way to find out.

    How to tell if you’re “goofy” or “regular”.
    Picture yourself running and then sliding on ice. Which foot do you place forward? If you place your left foot forward, then you ride “regular”. If you place your right foot forward, then you ride goofy.

    Goofy – Rides with right foot forward and left foot back.
    Regular – Rides with left for forward and right foot back.

  2. Getting Prepared – Sitting In The Water

    relax in the water while wakesurfing

    Once you’re in the water, you’re going to have the rope in hand and the board in front of your feet. At this point, your life jacket will allow you to sit comfortably in the water. Take a few moments to get comfortable just sitting with the rope in your hand and between your legs.

  3. Correct Foot Placement

    foot position for wakesurfing. Be sure to place your feet on the edge of the wakesurf board.

    Front foot and back foot placement
    Take both of your feet and place your heels directly on the board. Refer to the image below to see where you should be placing your heels on the board. It might take a second or two to get situated in that position.

  4. Posturing Up

    correct wakesurf posture

    Now that you are leaned back and sitting comfortably with your feet in position on the wakeboard. Your feet should be positioned at the edge of the board so that you don’t have too much weight forward when you get up. You’re going to grab the rope with both hands, making sure the rope is between your knees.

    Lower body
    Now, slightly bend your knees toward your chest to form a strong athletic position.

    Upper body
    You want to have your chest pointing outward and your shoulder blades rolled back. Almost as if you’re trying to touch your shoulder blades together while holding on tight to the rope between your knees.

    This is going to give you a solid strong stance and get you prepared for the weight of the boat to pull you up. Refer to the image below for guidance on your positioning

  5. Finally! Getting Up On the Wakesurf Board

    rope length

    Wake surfing, how to get up!

    At this point, you’re ready to get up.

    Give the driver a quick thumbs up to let them know you’re ready. Hang on tight to the rope, keeping your arms straight the entire time and your knees bent to control your balance.

    Let the boat do all the work for you, the boat will lift you up out of the water so all you have to focus on is keeping your arms straight. Never try to pull yourself up with your arms otherwise you’ll get pulled forward.

    With the boat pulling you, you’ll start to rotate a little bit, This is when you will very slowly start to stand yourself up on the board. That’s it!! Now you just need to find the sweet spot a.ka. “The Pocket” so that you can drop the rope and actually start surfing!


  • A body of water
  • Wakesurf board
  • Wakesurf Rope
  • Wakesurf Boat

How To Drop The Rope Wakesurfing

Finding The Sweet Spot (aka “The Pocket”)

In order to drop the rope you’ll have to find the sweet spot, also called the pocket of the wake. This is a spot on the wave where the water is pushing you rather than pulling you away from the boat.

rope length

Gas & Brakes

Pushing your front foot down on the board will shoot you forward. Your front foot will be your gas.

Pushing down on your back foot will slow you down. This will be your brakes.

To find drop the rope while wake surfing, you’ll use your gas and brakes to find the sweet spot between where you are being dragged by the rope and being pushed. You’ll know you have found the sweet spot when you no longer have slack in the rope.

So keep trying to find that spot while you’re riding and before long you’ll be able to drop the rope.

For the driver

The wakesurfing ropes’ length is very helpful to help the surfer find the right spot in the wave in order to drop the rope. The rope should be about 6 -12 inches in front of the spot on the wave that starts to curl over. A solid wake surf instructor should be able to position the rope correctly on the boat.

Thanks for checking out our guide on “how to get up wake surfing!”

If you live in Michigan – Check out our main page for Wakesurfing lessons!


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